Category Archives: Theresa McGrath

Bye, Theresa! Taxpayer prez says she’s moving

“I myself am not able to afford to live in this town,” [Theresa] McGrath said. She said her agenda was to cut taxes. “I don’t want to move. I’m going to have to move,” she said.

Maybe I’m crazy, but if West Hartford Taxpayer co-prez Theresa McGrath is moving, why is she setting our community’s agenda? If she’s “going to have to move” then why is she given any attention at all? I can barely afford to stay, but I’m staying. She isn’t, apparently, so why do we care what she says?

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Filed under budget, News, referendum, Theresa McGrath, West Hartford Taxpayers Association

School budget slicing and dicing

At the hearing last night, the Board of Education heard lots of ideas for paring the proposed budget, according to today’s story in The Hartford Courant.

“Hall junior Alex Porter suggested reducing the school year by four days to trim costs,” reporter Fulvio Cativo wrote in his story. He added that school board members said that’s an idea that’s being explored.

Board members “said they would consider eliminating curriculum specialists, cutting the funds for conferences and meetings and discontinuing Norfeldt School’s magnet program,” the story reported.

Bruce Putterman, one of the school board members, said cutting all-day kindergarten is not on the table unless the referendum leads to a defeat for the budget.

Theresa McGrath, of the West Hartford Taxpayers Association, warned, “This is not the year to play politics or scare tactics,” according to the paper. That’s almost funny.

But I especially liked this: “People don’t move to West Hartford for the tax breaks, they move to West Hartford for the education,” said Kiernan Majerus-Collins, one of two Bristow Middle School sixth-grade students, who asked the board to save the Quest gifted and talented program.

That’s right on the money, kid.
 

 

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Filed under Alex Porter, Board of Education, Bruce Putterman, budget, education, Fulvio Cativo, Hartford Courant, Kiernan Majerus-Collins, News, Norfeldt, Quest, referendum, Schools, Theresa McGrath, West Hartford, West Hartford Taxpayers Assocation

Taxpayers group springs for BBQ!

The June meeting of the West Hartford Taxpayers Association is going to be held on June 22 at Therese McGrath’s place on Richmond Road.

Called the “MDC (Many Dedicated Citizens) Bash and BBQ” the group is touting the event as “a celebration to thank each and every taxpayer for all of their hard work to help lower our taxes.”

It’s a bring-your-own-lawn-chair-and-side-dish kind of thing, but the BBQ is courtesy of the WHTA, which is as good a way to spend its money as I can envision.

If you want to attend — and who wouldn’t? — check out the WHTA website, link somewhere to the right of the page here, and call Theresa.

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Filed under budget, referendum, Taxes, Theresa McGrath, West Hartford Taxpayers Association

A devastating blow to West Hartford schools

Today’s story in The Hartford Courant quotes David Sklarz, the school superintendent, as saying last night that he faces “the most difficult reductions that I’ve had to present” in searching for ways to pare $1.8 million from the next education budget.

Now I could understand why this year posed problems if we were in the middle of a recession, if people were losing their homes and jobs, if everyone was taking a hit. But that’s not the case at all. The stock market’s soaring. Jobs are plentiful (though I recognize good jobs are still hard to come by). The economy is treating us kindly, for now.

So why are we in a budget-cutting frenzy?

Simple: because the town council is more scared of the West Hartford Taxpayers Assocation than it is of the voters.

As a result, it whacked $1.8 million from the school budget, threatening to wipe out Quest, erase extra help for our most troubled schools and even slice away full-day kindergarten at a handful of elementary schools. A disaster looms if these cuts go through.

Yet Theresa McGrath, president of the tax group, told the school board last night to find even more cuts. Why don’t we just put closed signs on the doors of our schools and tell our best and brightest kids to move, quickly, to Simsbury or Farmington? This is all nuts.

The story in the Courant today is typically awful. It mentions that a handful of parents spoke to the board, pleading for some programs. None of them are quoted by name. Only oneschool board members is quoted, so we really don’t know what they’re thinking in any detail either, which is a shame.

I’m afraid that the Courant’s lackluster interest in the crisis facing our town is going to make it so most parents are barely aware of what’s happening, if they know at all. Information is scant — whichever side you come down on — and there’s no place to get the facts that we need.

The one school board member who is mentioned in the story, Terry Schmitt, said the list of proposd cuts is a “classic example of how unfortunately wrong” McGrath is about the severity of what’s at stake.

This is a moment of truth for West Hartford. We need to defend our schools against a spurious attack by council members and self-styled taxpayer advocates that will gut good programs and set back education.

It’s not going to get easier for us in the next few years. If we start scaling back now, we’re in deep, deep trouble.

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Filed under Board of Education, budget, David Sklarz, education, Hartford Courant, News, referendum, Schools, Terry Schmitt, Theresa McGrath, town council, West Hartford, West Hartford economy, West Hartford Taxpayers Association